Two Tall Guys Podcast – From Slump to Success: Guiding Salespeople through Tough Times – Episode 30
In this podcast episode, Kevin and Sean discuss how to help a top-performing salesperson get through a slump and get back on track. They emphasize the importance of a time-based sales strategy and keeping an eye on the early stages of a sale, such as lead generation and relationship building. They recommend reinforcing the positive aspects of a salesperson’s work and ensuring they follow the right process to build an effective pipeline.
They also suggest an intellectually honest approach to pipeline management to evaluate the pipeline’s health and identify areas that need improvement. This involves looking at close rates and the average time taken to close deals. Moreover, they discuss setting realistic goals for salespeople, focusing on the right activities for the right prospects, and practicing delivering the right message to the target market.
They stress the importance of patience and confidence-building for salespeople in a slump, as well as celebrating successes. Lastly, they highlight the role of a sales leader in supporting their team members rather than taking over their tasks.
Fractional Executives Are Better Than Consultants For Driving Valuable Changes in Small Businesses
Change is inevitable, and small business owners must constantly adapt to stay ahead of their competition. While traditional consultants may offer valuable insights and recommendations, they often lack the hands-on commitment to implement these changes effectively. A consultant will write a report and presentation to advise management of required changes and then count on management to deploy the advice effectively. More than a report or playbook is usually needed to drive tangible results.
Enter the concept of a fractional executive. This innovative solution provides small businesses the strategic guidance and support they need to grow and evolve. In this blog post, we’ll explore the role of a fractional executive, discuss their benefits, and share tips for finding the right fit for your business.
A fractional executive is a seasoned professional who offers expertise and leadership on a part-time or project basis. These individuals often have extensive experience in their respective fields and can fill critical gaps in a company’s leadership team. From acting as a temporary CEO to guiding sales or financial strategies, fractional executives provide services tailored to your business’s unique needs.
The critical difference between a fractional executive and a traditional consultant lies in their level of commitment. While consultants often deliver a one-time report or set of recommendations, fractional executives are actively involved in the day-to-day operations of your business. They work closely with your team to implement changes, monitor progress, and adjust strategies as needed, ensuring that your business thrives in the long term.
Consultants can create beautiful reports using modern tools like Chat GPT. While a report generated by Chat GPT can provide valuable insights and recommendations for a business, it is crucial to recognize that such a report alone is insufficient to drive meaningful changes. To successfully implement and manage the recommended changes, businesses require a more hands-on and personalized approach that addresses their unique challenges and opportunities. A report can serve as an excellent starting point, but companies must invest in dedicated human expertise to ensure that the proposed changes are effectively integrated into their operations.
A Chat GPT report may be insufficient for driving change because it cannot fully account for the intricacies and nuances of each business. While AI-generated reports can be well-researched and informative, they may need a more profound understanding of company culture, team dynamics, and specific market conditions necessary to develop tailored strategies. On the other hand, a human expert can work closely with stakeholders, employees, and customers to gain a comprehensive understanding of the business’s unique needs and challenges, allowing them to develop and implement more effective change initiatives.
Additionally, change management requires ongoing support and guidance, which a Chat GPT report or an absentee consultant cannot provide. Implementing changes often involves overcoming obstacles, refining strategies, and addressing unforeseen issues that arise during the process. A human expert, such as a fractional executive, can provide the necessary support and adaptability to navigate these challenges and ensure the success of the change initiatives. By working closely with the business daily, they can monitor progress, identify areas for improvement, and make real-time adjustments to keep the change process on track.Continue reading →
Fractional Sales Leadership Increases the Value of My Client by 167%
A common question that I receive is about the value of adding fractional sales leadership to their company. I typically answer their concern with a story about one of my clients who had a fantastic experience and increased the company’s value by 167% in about 12 months.
The true benefit of the efforts of fractional sales leadership is that revenue and pipeline will increase your company’s value.
Several years ago, I was hired by a fantastic software startup company in the artificial intelligence industry. Their technology had roots in original research by one of the founders at MIT. I was connected to one of the founders, and he approached me to be his Fractional Vice President of Sales as they felt that their technology had progressed to the point that they needed to find early adopter customers.
It was a young company with a small client base and very little revenue, but it clearly understood its offering and the value it could deliver to new clients. I started the engagement with my standard discovery process to identify what value they were providing to their clients or prospective clients. We developed a target persona, and I helped them identify potential clients that fit their use cases.
As I worked with them, I learned more about their backstory. A significant chip manufacturer had wanted to buy the company just a few months earlier. The founders were eager to sell, but the parties couldn’t agree on a price and parted ways. The large chip manufacturer valued the company at about 75% of the valuation that the founders wanted. This offer reminded me of the popular TV show Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs try to arrange investments from 5 individual investors. They rarely agree at the beginning of the segment on the startup’s value; sometimes, they compromise, and sometimes they do not. In this case, the giant chip manufacturer didn’t see the value, just like the Sharks didn’t see the value of Ring.
The owners of my client did what any sound company executives would do. They pushed harder on their business to build its value. They realized that nothing drives the company’s value like revenue and pipeline, so they brought me in to help them.
Fast forward ten months after hiring me, and our pipeline, messaging, sales team, partnerships, and methodologies have improved dramatically. At this point, another chip manufacturer enters the picture and wants to acquire the company and its technology. But now everything in the company is more proven, and the risk is less for the acquiring company. The owners and the new acquiring company agreed quickly on the company’s value. The company was now worth 200% of what the founders initially thought just the previous year. The deal closed quickly and efficiently, with most employees finding great jobs at the new owner while some continued with new and exciting adventures.
New customers, pipeline growth, and team growth caused a dramatic increase in the company’s value. Undoubtedly, the software improved during that year, but much of that improvement was because of customer and prospect feedback. The new chip manufacturer thought the company was worth 267% compared to the previous suitor.
According to the Exit Planning Institute, 76 percent of business owners who sold their businesses profoundly regretted selling within a year. I contend that this is because they agreed to a Shark Tank deal which devalued their company. I think most feel they didn’t get the value out of the company they spent years, decades, or maybe a lifetime building. The solution is to have such a great sales engine that the buyer is begging you to take the offer. Small business owners need to build a sales engine that is so strong that multiple offers are coming in to buy the company. For a while in the US after COVID-19, selling a home commanded over-asking-price offers all over the nation. This seller’s market is the environment you need to create for your company if you want to exit the company in the next 3-5 years.
I help company owners realize the maximum value of their company by improving their revenue generation capability. I help owners enhance their sales management, methodologies, processes, teams, and messaging to accomplish this. Reach out to me so that I can help you maximize your company’s value the way I helped my former client.